Documents released under Freedom of Information legislation have confirmed that $2 million spent by Premier Rann on government advertising had been designed solely to help win the last election and had nothing to do with raising public awareness.
Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today these FOI documents show that whilst Mr. Rann spent about $2 million in the nine months leading up to the election on issues such as climate change, he spent nothing in the nine months after the election.
The following table outlines the Rann Government’s advertising costs:
Advertising Campaign (Column 1)
June 2005 – Feb 2006 ($) (Column 2)
April 2006 – Dec 2006 ($) (Column 3)
Eventful Adelaide 779,000 0
Climate Change 499,000 0
SA Strategic Plan 318,000 0
Real Choices at Work 221,000 0
Nursing SA 87,000 0
ASC Contract 75,000 0
Community Policing 5,000 0
Total 1,984,000 0
“Mr. Rann needs to explain why climate change was such an important issue just before the election, but it was no longer important straight after the election,” Mr. Lucas said.
“Mr. Rann must also explain why he had to spend $779,000 of taxpayer’s money highlighting Rann Government-supported major events in Adelaide in late 2005/early 2006, but spent nothing on a similar campaign in late 2006/early 2007.
“Almost all of these campaigns included significant television advertising components.
“If all of these campaigns were genuinely in the public interest, then clearly there would at least have been some expenditure on some of these campaigns in the nine months after the election.”
Mr. Lucas said it is now clear the Rann Government spent $2 million of taxpayer’s money in setting the foundation for the Labor Party’s ‘Rann Gets Results’ election advertising blitz.
“For example, the ASC Project, SA Strategic Plan, Climate Change, schools and hospitals were all prominent parts of the ‘Rann Gets Results’ advertising campaign.
“The Acting Auditor General, or new Auditor General, should now investigate this ‘political rorting’ of taxpayer’s funds by the Rann Government. In other states, the Auditor General has closely investigated similar behaviour and included criticisms in annual reports of the Audit Office.
“The Auditor General should be asking Mr. Rann for an explanation of why $2 million of taxpayer’s money was spent just prior to the election and yet nothing was spent on the same issues just after the election.”